Celebrating 80 years of regional touring, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will tour the Illawarra and Southern Highlands (22-24 May), holding performances in Nowra, Wollongong and Mittagong.
Over 50 Sydney Symphony Orchestra musicians will travel from the Orchestra’s home, the Sydney Opera House, with young Australian mezzo-soprano Shikara Ringdahl, the first vocal soloist to join the SSO on a regional tour. Together with conductor Benjamin Northey, the Orchestra will perform three major public concerts, including debut performances at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in Nowra and Frensham School in Mittagong. The musicians will also perform a series of schools concerts, which are expected to reach more than 1300 students.
The Hon. Don Harwin MLC, Minister for Resources, Energy and Utilities and for the Arts, said “The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is a state treasure and I encourage families of the Illawarra and Southern Highlands to get along to see these amazing musicians in their 80th year of regional touring. The SSO has a proud history of taking their talents to regional NSW and I congratulate the orchestra on its enduring commitment to making classical music accessible to all.”
The SSO’s commitment to regional touring stretches back almost as far as the Orchestra’s founding, highlighting its passion for sharing musical experiences with the wider New South Wales community. On its first regional tour in 1938, the SSO performed in Wollongong, Katoomba, Orange and Bathurst to celebrate the 150th anniversary of New South Wales.
The tour is underpinned by the SSO’s commitment to making music accessible, removing barriers to those who might otherwise be unable to experience the orchestra. With repertoire spanning the Overture from Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Beethoven’s epic Fifth Symphony, the schools concerts will be heavily subsidised for students with the facility for some schools to attend free of charge.
Linda Lorenza, SSO Director of Learning and Engagement, says that for many local children, the concerts are an opportunity to interact with classical music. “Bringing our schools concerts to regional NSW enables young people to see and hear an orchestra, and understand how it works in a fun and interactive concert. Many young people in our regional areas may have never heard a live orchestra. To be introduced to the real thing by Australia’s finest musicians is a very special experience.”
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 tour is made possible thanks to the ongoing support of its regional touring partner Rex.